SEPA’s river level data webpages restored

  08 March 2021
Members of the public can access river level data from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for the first time since the cyber-attack on 24 December.

The data has remained available to SEPA staff ensuring delivery of nationally important flood forecasting, including Flood Alerts and Warnings, continued throughout. What was not possible was displaying the same information on public web pages.

SEPA's river gauging network consists of over 350 sites. While between 10 and 15 percent of stations are not displaying data at present, work to bring these back online is progressing and new sites are being added every day. The page is available at sepa.org.uk/waterlevels.

Vincent Fitzsimons, SEPA's Head of Hydrology, said:

“We appreciate how valuable our river level data is, from those planning leisure activities to people looking for additional information during flooding. Flood Alerts and Warnings are always the most up-to-date information, but when river levels are very high and warnings are out we know residents use the site to see whether levels upstream are continuing to rise or have started to fall.

“Since the cyber-attack on Christmas Eve our staff have worked as quickly as possible to restore public access, and this is an important step in the restoration of information that we know people use.”

The river level service will still be subject to intermittent interruptions as additional work continues in the background but these will be kept to a minimum as much as possible. The data download facility, rainfall web pages and historical river and rainfall data are not yet available. SEPA is working to restore these services as quickly as possible and will continue to provide updates through its weekly service status updates published every Friday at sepa.org.uk/servicestatus.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

  • On Christmas Eve, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency confirmed that it was responding to a significant cyber-attack affecting its contact centre, internal systems, processes and communications. SEPA will not engage with likely international serious and organised criminals intent on disrupting public services and extorting public funds. The matter is subject to a live criminal investigation.

  • Following the attack, business continuity arrangements were immediately enacted and SEPA’s Emergency Management Team is working with Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the National Cyber Security Centre to respond to what is complex and sophisticated criminality.

  • Further information on SEPA’s response to the cyber-attack is available at Cyber-Attack: Service Status | Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • SEPA recently published its 'Approach to the delivery of services' for the first half of 2021, outlining how the organisation will prioritise the protection of Scotland’s environment and the provision of priority services across the period in response to COVID-19, the post EU system, the climate and nature emergencies and the ongoing cyber-attack.

  • Priority regulatory, monitoring, flood forecasting and warning services are continuing to adapt and operate.